I live in rural east Ohio, in the heart of Utica Shale country. Having a drilling rig perched on a hilltop a half mile away isn’t much of an interruption in our lives. It’s actually kind of exciting. When friends visit, they’re fascinated with the rig and we sometimes hike through the woods for a better vantage point.
It’s so much bigger in real life than one would imagine. And it’s loud. But the distance and trees provide a barrier between the rig and the few homes in the area, so it’s not a disturbance here in the countryside.
But for rigs operating in populated areas, it’s another story. Noise from oil and gas drilling rigs, and the hydraulic fracturing equipment that follows are one of the biggest complaints of neighbors and homeowners who live near new wells. Operators have been trying to resolve this dilemma for years. And it seems they’re making progress.
A Denver company may have at least a partial fix. Liberty Oilfield Services and Liberty Resources LLC spent years working on a new “quiet fleet” which has met with some success in the Denver- Julesburg Basin north of Denver, Colorado.
Liberty’s new quiet fracking equipment is said to be three times quieter than standard, traditional hydraulic fracturing operations. The company is seeking patents on the technology. This means that 500 feet away, the minimum distance between a well pad and a home, according to Colorado’s regulations, the sound of the fracking equipment is less than 65 decibels – or equivalent to the noise levels of a regular conversation, according to the company.
Liberty’s quiet fracking fleet is said to be just as effective at pumping and fracturing the rock as standard equipment, and it also incorporates a sophisticated fire suppression system, something that’s not available on the standard equipment.
So far, Liberty only has one set of its quiet fleet set of equipment — but it’s building more in anticipation that companies will be eager to use it when working around communities.
But running quiet fracking operations aren’t the only innovations underway in the field.
A super quiet rig has arrived and is being tested in New Zealand. The 450-ton rig is quieter, more automated and, thanks to a unique paint job to suit local conditions, less visible than any rig to operate on land in New Zealand. It’s known as Big Ben.
Big Ben arrives on 25 trucks and needs 40 men and five cranes to unload it.
Another way that oil producers are working to keep noise levels low is by utilizing electric-powered drilling rig systems. Much of the noise from a rig is created by the diesel generators that power the unit. These are well known for their noise output.
Bentec has become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of quiet drilling rig solutions and drilling rig components.
Bentec’s headquarters are located in Bad Bentheim, Germany, with additional production and service facilities in Tyumen, Russia and Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman.
As a fully vertical integrated systems provider, Bentec offers a combination of resources for fully customized drilling and all electrical drilling and control systems.
In addition to drilling and fracking, obtaining core samples is another noisy endeavor, until recently.
Arctic Drilling Company’s surface drilling rigs guarantee high-quality core samples, provided efficiently, safely, and ecologically. The rubber tracks used in the surface range make these rigs environmentally friendly, quiet, and suitable for all types of terrain. The power, torque, and high-performance components of the rigs allow for drilling holes up to 2,000 meters deep.
The interior of a surface drilling rig can be fully customized in line with the customer’s needs.